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Microsoft Doubles Down On Education With 'Minecraft,' LEGO, And More

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Microsoft is ramping up its efforts to "unlock limitless learning," aided by modern technology. The company is collaborating with key players to ignite a passion for education.

In a post on its official blog site, Microsoft reiterated its commitment to train students and make them ready as builders of the future ahead. Microsoft's mission is clear — to facilitate better and easier learning by taking advantage of the available technology.

"Whether igniting interest in STEM, learning in 3D, helping students of all abilities improve their reading, writing, and comprehension, or saving teachers' time and helping them collaborate, we know technology has the power to unlock limitless learning," Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's vice president for Windows and Devices Group, said in a blog post.

To reinforce its increasing involvement in the educational well-being of young students, the company unveiled a concrete plan at the Bett IT conference staged in London this week. Introduced were a number of learning-centric Windows 10 S devices that will be made available at ultra-affordable price points but without compromising on power and features.

More importantly, Microsoft said it will spur interest on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects by using popular concepts such as Minecraft and LEGO and working with familiar institutions such as BBC and NASA.

Making STEM Learning Fun

The Windows maker is looking to entice students to learn more about STEM and enjoy the experience at the same time. For instance, Minecraft will soon get a Chemistry Update that will be utilized for students to experience "hands-on experimentation" on building compounds, the purpose of which is to stimulate the young minds and steer them into the basic concepts of chemistry.

The company will also continue to promote immersive learning with the use of Windows mixed reality VR headsets, duly optimized for the subject.

Another ground that Microsoft is looking to break is the intricate frontiers of science, which the company hopes to simplify by forging partnerships with LEGO and BBC. The former will be involved to teach students on the application of Pythagorean Theorem to gain a deeper understanding of 2D and 3D space concepts.

For its part, BBC will lend its expertise for students to better appreciate natural history. Microsoft is looking on the possibility of integrating more contents from BBC to its Microsoft Education portfolio.

Office 365 Optimized For Learning

Likewise, Microsoft is equipping its in-house resources with features that will make the learning process easier for both teachers and students. The Microsoft PowerPoint will allow teachers to record planned lessons for ready access by students. The plan is to encourage students to do advanced readings "so class time can be used for conversation."

The Office 365 suite will soon have dictation functionality for students to enjoy writing by mostly using their voice. Combined with the Immersive Reader assistive technology, the company said its Microsoft Learning Tools package is envisioned to improve on students' reading, writing, and comprehension skills.

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